For all my global friends – festive season in India is in full swing with Diwali (festival of Lights) falling in the coming week (on the 23rd of Oct). So, like all Indians, I am into the festive mode and am preparing rich, heavy, favourite foods nearly all times of the day! So I am starting the day with a wonderful breakfast of Amritsari Chole and Bhature.
Amritsari Chole is little bit different from Punjabi Chole. Amritsari Chole is generally black in colour and there is a slight difference in cooking and taste as well. For the benefit of everyone, Amritsar is a city in the state of Punjab (North India), and is a holy city known for the sacred, beautiful and calm Golden Temple.
Chole-Bhature is again one of my favourite combination since childhood. My Mumma used to prepare them every fortnight and I used to simply love the taste.
Amritsari Chole :
The ingredients for preparing Amritsari Chole are :
- Chickpea : 1 cup
- Onion : 2 (chopped)
- Tomato : 1 (chopped)
- Garlic : 6
- Ginger : 1 tsp
- Green Chilli : 4 (slit-lengthwise)
- Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
- Bay leaf : 1
- Clove : 2
- Cinnamon Powder : 1/4 tsp
- Black Cardamom : 1
- Black Pepper : 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
- Coriander Powder : 2 tsp
- Dried Mango Powder (Amchur) : 1/4 tsp
- Dried Pomegranate Powder (Anardana) : 1/4 tsp
- Salt : to taste
- Black salt : 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala : 1/4 tsp
- Tea : 1 tsp
- Oil : 2 Tbsp
Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water.
Take a pan and boil the tea in a cup of water. Strain the water with a tea strainer and keep it aside. This tea water will give the black colour to the Chole.
Next morning, put the chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Add black cardamom, 1 tsp salt, boiled tea water plus some more water and cook till you get 5-6 whistles. Do not discard the water post this.
Heat oil in a pan; do tempering with bay leaf, clove, cinnamon powder, cumin seeds, and black pepper. Now add garlic, ginger and sauté for a minute. Add onion and again sauté till it becomes translucent. Add tomatoes, and cook covered till it becomes mushy. Now add green chillies; sauté for a minute.
Now add the boiled chickpeas. Mix well and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black salt, salt, dried mango powder, dried pomegranate powder; mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
Then add the saved boiled water; mix well and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Add garam masala, mix well and cook covered for 2 minutes and then switch off the flame. The yummy Amritasari Chole are ready to be tasted !
Bhatura (or Bhature) :
For the benefit of everyone, Bhatura is a fluffy deep fried yogurt bread from North India. It is a leavened bread which needs to be fermented for at least 8 hours.
Bhatura can be made with/without yeast and baking soda or, simply with yogurt. As like always, I have tried not to add things that can be avoided without compromising on quality/taste. So I have made this Bhatura without adding baking soda or yeast, and have used only plain flour and yogurt.
The ingredients for preparing Bhatura are :
- Plain flour (All-purpose flour / Maida) : 2 cup
- Yogurt : 3-4 Tbsp
- Semolina (Suji) : 1-2 Tbsp
- Oil : for deep frying
Take yogurt in a bowl and add little water to it so as to make it of thick pouring consistency.
Take 1 cup of plain flour, semolina in a big bowl. Slowly add yogurt and mix with spoon, thereby making a batter of flour and yogurt. Note that this batter should be thick. Cover it and keep it for overnight.
Next morning add 1 cup of remaining plain flour to this batter; knead it properly and make a smooth, soft dough. Keep it covered for 1-2 hrs.
Heat oil in a wok. Take out a lemon size ball from the dough, put some flour on it and roll out into a oval shape disc. You can dust some flour on the platform while making the disc, if it is sticking on the platform.
Put this disc into the wok and deep fry from both the sides. Take it out from the wok; place it on a paper napkin to drain out the excess oil. Your Bhatura is ready to be served.
You can serve Bhatura with simple Chole and/or Amritsari Chole.
Insider Tips / Finer Points :
- You may use tea bag instead of tea granules; put the tea bag in the pressure cooker along with the chickpeas to be cooked. Remember to discard the tea bag when chickpeas have been cooked.
- You can use Amla (Indian gooseberry) instead of tea/tea bag to give the desired black colour to the Chole; Note that Amla brings in a lot of nutrition/distinctive taste too.
- You can also use cinnamon stick instead of the powder. I have used powder as I have much cinnamon powder at my home 😉
- Feel free to adjust spices according to your taste buds.
- If your dough is very sticky or loose, you can place the kneaded dough of Bhatura in the refrigerator for some time.